Etowah County to let bids for megasite improvements

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Dustin Fox @GT_DustinFox / Apr 22, 2020 at 1:51 PM

The Etowah County Commission will soon begin accepting bids for a mass grading project at the Little Canoe Creek Megasite after passing a resolution during a virtual meeting held on Tuesday.

The bid would allow for a portion of the more than 1,000 acres to be cleared and made pad-ready as the county continues to seek industries to occupy the location.

That aligns with a $2.7 million site-improvement project announced in January that was funded through the state’s Growing Alabama Credit program and a donation from the Norfolk Southern Corporation.

That project includes grading part of the project to create a pad-ready rail-served site and adding a new railroad crossing to the industrial access road off U.S. Highway 11, as well as other improvements.

The bid will be let following the completion of plans created by engineering firm Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood.

“GMC is 100% complete with their plans and they are ready whenever the county approves to go out for bids,” said Marilyn Lott, economic development director for Etowah County.

While they are planning to remove trees and grade 60 acres of land, they will accept bids for a backup 50-acre plan. Lott said the bid would include both so that it would not need to be rebid if the 60-acre plan proved too expensive.

Chief Administrative Officer Shane Ellison said the county has consulted with GMC to see if contractors were still bidding during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, and said the engineering firm recommended pushing back the bids to mid-May. Ellison said he expects it to be later in May before the bids actually go out.

Commissioner Tim Ramsey asked what the timeline for the project would be, and Lott said it should take about six months — meaning that if work began in June, it could be finished by December unless there were delays because of the coronavirus or weather.

Click here to view the original Gadsden Times article.